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FealGood Foundation Founder Urges Congress to Permanently Extend Zadroga Act

Sep 11, 2015

Parker Waichman will be among the many supporters of the Zadroga Act—including Jon Stewart, formerly of “The Daily Show” and John Feal, founder of the FealGood Foundation advocacy group—lobbying for the Act’s permanent extension on September 16, 2015.

Parker Waichman, a national law firm that has spent many years fighting to ensure that the heroes and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks are never forgotten, comments on John Feal’s—of the FealGood Foundation—call for Americans to petition Congress to permanently extend the Zadroga Act, which was passed following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. The FealGood Foundation is a 9/11-focused advocacy group.

Mr. Feal writes, “ I went to Ground Zero shortly after the 9/11 attacks because I knew my experience as a US Army veteran and demolition supervisor would be of service to my country. I live with the memory of the lives lost that day, but also the sadness of knowing survivors are still dying from cancer, respiratory illness, and other health problems while their families struggle to put food on the table.” Mr. Feal is calling for Americans to write to Congress, the United States Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Parker Waichman notes that permanent extension of the Zadroga Act is especially important in light of the fact that some 9/11-related conditions, such as cancer, may take years to manifest. “Some responders and survivors may not know they have a condition as a result of the attacks,” said Gary Falkowitz, Managing Attorney at the firm. “These benefits need to remain open for them and their families. Unless the Zadroga Act is extended, these individuals will lose access to critical medical care, monitoring, and compensation.”

The firm also continues to support the Zadroga Act and remains dedicated to fighting for the rights of responders and survivors. In fact, Parker Waichman was recently involved in the “Take Action” tool that allows responders, survivors, and advocates the ability to review their Congresspersons' activities concerning the upcoming expiration of the James Zadroga Act. Parker Waichman assisted with the research on, and creation of, the Tool, which may be accessed at the Renew 911 Health Organization's website.

“Tragically … elected officials have refused to come together to guarantee support for these victims through an extension of the Zadroga Act…. there are thousands of more families out there who continue to face steep medical bills and struggle every day just to survive. This is no way to treat human beings who sacrificed so much that day. Americans from every state and nearly every Congressional district were affected on 9/11,” Mr. Feal added. “Tell Congress the Zadroga Act needs to be permanently extended because 9/11 survivors’ illnesses do not simply get cured if funding gets cut … American heroes will die without our support.”

At least 100 first responders and survivors of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks will be joining Mr. Feal; Jon Stewart, former host of “The Daily Show”; survivors; responders; and advocates on September 16, 2015 at the Capitol. The event is meant to urge lawmakers to approve permanent extension of the Zadroga Act’s programs, Parker Waichman notes.

Matthew J. McCauley, Senior Litigation Counsel at Parker Waichman, who will be attending the lobbying effort as well, points out that, “These individuals answered the call for help at a time when their country needed them most.” Mr. McCauley also lobbied in the nation’s capital for the 2010 passage of the Zadroga Act, often along with the firm's clients—other responders, survivors, and victims’ families. “They and their families deserve these benefits and, because of this, the firm continues to urge Congress to reauthorize the Act.”

The Zadroga Act provides benefits for 9/11 responders and survivors through the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program, which supplies medical treatment and monitoring, and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), which affords compensation. “If the Zadroga Act is not reauthorized, a number of 9/11 heroes will be left without the benefits they need and deserve,” said Mr. McCauley. In April 2015, a bipartisan group of Senators and House of Representative members introduced legislation in both chambers for permanent extension of the Zadroga Act programs: HR. 1786/S. 928.

“We once were able to get support for these 9/11 first responders and survivors, but it was not a permanent solution … people from across the nation … believe America’s elected officials have the moral responsibility to serve and protect their constituents with a permanent extension of this Act…. Please tell Congress to extend the Zadroga Act, Mr. Teal concluded.

Parker Waichman remains committed to fighting alongside Ground Zero first responders, survivors, and advocates, to urge passage of Zadroga Act extensions and amendments, and vows to continue efforts to safeguard these heroes and ensure Zadroga Act compensation is available. To determine eligibility for compensation under the Act, or for assistance with a claim, please visit Parker Waichman's website or call 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).

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